Getting More Immersed with Indiewire


  The Penske Media purchase of Indiewire has resulted in an expansion of my role as crafts and awards season contributor.  Beginning this week, I begin Emmy coverage of below-the-line contenders along with my usual Oscar season crafts reporting, working closely

Immersed in Blu-ray: Hitchcock and Bogart


The WB Archive Collection gets Hitch and Bogie on Blu-ray and they've never looked better for home viewing. In Kent Jones' indispensable doc, Hitchcock/Truffaut, he reminds us that Truffaut was on a mission to correct misconceptions about Hitch as a lightweight

Immersed in Books: Farber on Film


For the first time, the complete writings of film critic Manny Farber is available from Library of America, edited by Robert Polito (Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson). Manny Farber (1917-2008) was the first modernist film critic to write like a modernist.

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Making The Revenant into a Transcendent Journey

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The metaphysical description keeps popping up in regard to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s vision for The Revenant. It’s not merely a man-versus-nature struggle, but also a death-and-rebirth journey for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass. Production designer Jack Fisk finds the filmmaker more physical than Terrence Malick: like a wrestler who puts everyone in his powerful grip. Read more

VES Releases New VFX Demo Guidelines

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Movies, Tech, TV, Uncategorized, VES, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The VES has released Demo Material Guidelines: a set of recommendations for work-for-hire materials presented as part of a demo reel portfolio by VFX facilities and practitioners. Read more

Adam Stockhausen Talks Grand Budapest Hotel

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Movies, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, Uncategorized, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Imagine going from 12 Years a Slave to The Grand Budapest Hotel. That’s exactly what happened to production designer Adam Stockhausen, who was able to convey beauty in the darkest of dramas, but when it came to Wes Anderson’s witty caper, there was no holding back the Czech Republic eye candy: a pink hotel with a dollop of yellow butter cream, and the sugary Mendl’s bakery. Read more

Frozen Coming to FMX 2014

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Education, Events, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Shorts, stop-motion, Tech, Uncategorized, VFX, Videogames, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Disney’s Oscar-winning juggernaut, Frozen, will be spotlighted at FMX 2014 (April 22-25 in Stuttgart, Germany). Read more

Backstage at the 86th Academy Awards

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Editing, Movies, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Shorts, Sound, Tech, Uncategorized, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

As expected, 12 Years a Slave earned best picture Sunday night at the 86th Academy Awards, while Gravity dominated the crafts, winning seven, as well as best director for Alfonso Cuaron. The reverse-engineered blockbuster took home awards for cinematography, VFX, editing, sound editing, sound mixing, and original score. Read more

Pulling Off a New VFX Twist for White House Down

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, Uncategorized, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Uncharted Territory, which has become a model of efficiency and innovation during these precarious times for the VFX industry, came up with a new concept for handling Roland Emmerich’s White House Down: management and quality control rather than creating the bulk of the effects in-house. Read more

Trailering and Clipping More World War Z

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Clips, Movies, Tech, Trailers, Uncategorized, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

There’s a new World War Z trailer and two clips (“I Can’t Leave My Family” and “Broken Mirror”). But still no mention of zombies as the family element is stressed more and more. Read more

John Knoll Promoted to Chief Creative Officer at ILM

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies, Oscar, previs, Tech, Uncategorized, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Industrial Light & Magic’s veteran VFX supervisor, John Knoll, has been upped to chief creative officer, assuming a new creative role as the Disney-owned VFX powerhouse ramps up production on the rebooted Star Wars franchise with J.J. Abrams. Read more

A Powerful Oz Opener

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Clips, Movies, Tech, Uncategorized, VFX | Leave a comment

Watch the inventive opening credits to Oz the Great and Powerful: CG black and white cutouts paying homage to the early roots of magic and the cinema by Yu + Co. Read more

Meet the Animated Oscar Shorts Nominees

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Clips, Movies, Oscar, Shorts, stop-motion, Tech, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On the eve of the Academy Awards on Sunday, here are my exclusive interviews with Minkyu Lee (Adam and Dog), PES (Fresh Guacamole), Tim Reckart (Head over Heels), David Silverman (Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare), and John Kahrs (Paperman).  View a few of the shorts below. Read more